For the past two months, raising the Russian flag has been made mandatory in Russian schools. Also, the week in Russian schools is starting with a special class called – “Discussion on Important Things”. Instruction about what these important things are, comes from the Ministry of Education.
These classes often talk about the importance of certain government holidays, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. But on Teacher’s Day, students were specifically told why the occupation of Ukrainian territory by Russian forces was a ‘historical justice’. . And the reason given for this was that it is basically a part of Russian territory.
School children often hear about Ukraine. A student named Mark (name changed) attends a school in St. Petersburg.
Expressing concern over terrorism, he says he has been told by school directors and teachers that Ukraine was constantly attacking Russia, “Actually, we are being taught how to defend ourselves in the event of a terrorist attack. “
According to a high school student at a school in Kaliningrad, his principal told a patriotism class last month that “Russia is constantly being attacked by someone and everyone wants to destroy our country.”
Those parents who do not send their children to these classes, they may have to face trouble. According to the Youth Welfare Department and a psychologist, a 10-year-old girl in Moscow, Varya Sholikar, dropped out of one such class and her family members suffered a lot.
A commission at the school discussed the behavior of her child, her mother Yelena Sholikar was called. The commission included a representative of the school management, a psychologist and probably a representative of the FSB, a domestic intelligence agency, and they were, according to him, extremely concerned about Varya’s absence from the class.
They also pointed out that the girl had also shared a Saint Javelin meme on WhatsApp that depicted a figure of a saint holding an anti-tank system used by Ukrainians against Russian troops in Ukraine. In front of the national colors blue and yellow are being used.
With the help of the police in the school, after questioning and getting information from many people, the officers found the house of the girl’s family. In his report, he mentioned the presence of ‘suspicious colours’ in the interior decoration of the house. He said that extremist channels were also seen in Yelena Sholikar’s laptop and she was unable to answer all these things.
The report also said, “The apartment also had blue and yellow colors, which Yelena Sholikar says she loves.”
Inspectors concluded that Yelena Sholikar “imposes her political views on her daughter and that her parents have no control over what she writes on social media.”
The inspectors wrote in their report that the Saint Javelin meme shows that the ten-year-old girl “knows nothing about the history of her homeland, nor about the political trends in her country and around the world”. .” These people ordered both the girl and her mother to consult a psychologist.
Teaching the lesson of patriotism is a difficult decision not only for the parents of the children but also for the teachers. Daniil Kane, chairman of the Russian Alliance of Teachers, says, “Incidents of harassing teachers for writing something on social media, making statements or participating in rallies were happening earlier as well, but now it has been institutionalized Is.”
Ken further says that the words of propaganda are now being imposed, people are being pressurized to decide whether to be a part of this campaign or not. Kane was also declared a “foreign agent” by the authorities in September.
The Alliance of Teachers is defending the case of Tatanya Shervenko in the court. Teachers in Moscow refused to “discuss important things” and even gave an interview about it on the Doz TV channel. The channel now broadcasts from Latvia but its programs are tailored for viewers living in Russia or outside Russia.
Tatanya Shervenko was harassed a lot by the school administration and she is fighting a case against the same in the court. Although Shervenko is still teaching at the school, Daniel Kane fears she will be fired.
At a school in Naberzhain Chelny, a large city in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, a history teacher, Raushen Veliullin, and the school management had a long dispute, which finally ended when Veliullin was fired.
In August, Veliullin took part in a meeting of teachers on the topic “Specifics of ideological educational work with children and educators”. This meeting also included “discussions on important matters”.
Veliulin criticized government interference in his work, citing Article 13 of the Constitution. This article forcibly prevents the imposition of any ideology. Veliulin was fired from his job. He was able to prove in court that his dismissal was illegal and that he should be reinstated as a teacher.
He did not wait for the verdict. He said that his conscience did not testify to the agreement to return to school. He was threatened to install cameras in his office so that his statements could be monitored. He was told that he had to lead “discussions of important things” if he wanted to get a job.
Veliulin decided to go to Girgistan. He says, “It is forbidden to say anything against the war. I have many children and I have to do my job responsibly.”
(Report: Sergei Satanovsky)
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compulsory patriotism classes in russian schools